August 31, 2017

Absenteeism Hitting Profitability at UK SMEs

Absenteeism is having a big impact on profitability at UK small and medium enterprises (SMEs), according to 71% of firms questioned in our latest absence survey.

The research found many UK SMEs are experiencing higher than average absenteeism in their business.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the average number of sick days for a UK employee is 4.3 days a year – yet almost half (49%) of small business owners said staff take more than five days off each year.

And for 1-in-7 businesses this figure rises to seven days or more.

Tracking absenteeism accurately to make a business impact

Yet despite higher-than-average sick days and the impact on profitability, few firms are taking positive action to reduce absenteeism in their business.

This is the case even though many feel introducing policies around absences, flexible working, time off for family or medical reasons and return to work programmes can all have a positive impact on reducing absenteeism.

Whilst the vast majority of firms (91%) do track staff absences this is often paper or spreadsheet-based, leaving it open to human error – 39% log absenteeism in this way.

Many have little insight into the true picture of absenteeism by failing to track the multiple reasons for time off work. Whilst days off sick and annual leave are commonly monitored by 75% and 66% of SMEs respectively, other reasons for absence are less well tracked:

  • Training (tracked by 55% of businesses)
  • Compassionate leave (51%)
  • Medical appointments (50%)
  • Sabbaticals (28%)
  • Duvet days (22%)

New tool to help you understand the true cost of absenteeism on your business

Moorepay Absence Calculator
Because so many of the costs of absenteeism are buried, Moorepay has unveiled a brand new absence calculator to help you understand the cost of absence on your business.

The calculator takes you through three simple steps and gives you a report providing:

  • Your total costs per employee
  • How you compare against other businesses in your industry
  • Where you could make savings through an active absence management strategy

Enter your absence details into the calculator to generate your bespoke report.

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About the author

Stuart Clough

About the author

Stuart Clough

Stuart (MCIPR) is a trained journalist, writer and marketer with ten years' experience in B2B, public sector and employee communications. A former marketing consultant and agency client-lead, Stuart is responsible for communications and content at Moorepay.

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